Stability and Competition in Multi-spike Models of Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity.
ABSTRACT: Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a widespread plasticity mechanism in the nervous system. The simplest description of STDP only takes into account pairs of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, with potentiation of the synapse when a presynaptic spike precedes a postsynaptic spike and depression otherwise. In light of experiments that explored a variety of spike patterns, the pair-based STDP model has been augmented to account for multiple pre- and postsynaptic spike interactions. As a result, a number of different "multi-spike" STDP models have been proposed based on different experimental observations. The behavior of these models at the population level is crucial for understanding mechanisms of learning and memory. The challenging balance between the stability of a population of synapses and their competitive modification is well studied for pair-based models, but it has not yet been fully analyzed for multi-spike models. Here, we address this issue through numerical simulations of an integrate-and-fire model neuron with excitatory synapses subject to STDP described by three different proposed multi-spike models. We also analytically calculate average synaptic changes and fluctuations about these averages. Our results indicate that the different multi-spike models behave quite differently at the population level. Although each model can produce synaptic competition in certain parameter regions, none of them induces synaptic competition with its originally fitted parameters. The dichotomy between synaptic stability and Hebbian competition, which is well characterized for pair-based STDP models, persists in multi-spike models. However, anti-Hebbian competition can coexist with synaptic stability in some models. We propose that the collective behavior of synaptic plasticity models at the population level should be used as an additional guideline in applying phenomenological models based on observations of single synapses.
Project description:Synapses may undergo long-term increases or decreases in synaptic strength dependent on critical differences in the timing between pre-and postsynaptic activity. Such spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) follows rules that govern how patterns of neural activity induce changes in synaptic strength. Synaptic plasticity in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) follows Hebbian and anti-Hebbian patterns in a cell-specific manner. Here we show that these opposing responses to synaptic activity result from differential expression of two signaling pathways. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) signaling underlies Hebbian postsynaptic LTP in principal cells. By contrast, in interneurons, a temporally precise anti-Hebbian synaptic spike-timing rule results from the combined effects of postsynaptic CaMKII-dependent LTP and endocannabinoid-dependent presynaptic LTD. Cell specificity in the circuit arises from selective targeting of presynaptic CB1 receptors in different axonal terminals. Hence, pre- and postsynaptic sites of expression determine both the sign and timing requirements of long-term plasticity in interneurons.
Project description:In Hebbian plasticity, neural circuits adjust their synaptic weights depending on patterned firing. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), a synaptic Hebbian learning rule, relies on the order and timing of the paired activities in pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Classically, in ex vivo experiments, STDP is assessed with deterministic (constant) spike timings and time intervals between successive pairings, thus exhibiting a regularity that differs from biological variability. Hence, STDP emergence from noisy inputs as occurring in in vivo-like firing remains unresolved. Here, we used noisy STDP pairings where the spike timing and/or interval between pairings were jittered. We explored with electrophysiology and mathematical modeling, the impact of jitter on three forms of STDP at corticostriatal synapses: NMDAR-LTP, endocannabinoid-LTD and endocannabinoid-LTP. We found that NMDAR-LTP was highly fragile to jitter, whereas endocannabinoid-plasticity appeared more resistant. When the frequency or number of pairings was increased, NMDAR-LTP became more robust and could be expressed despite strong jittering. Our results identify endocannabinoid-plasticity as a robust form of STDP, whereas the sensitivity to jitter of NMDAR-LTP varies with activity frequency. This provides new insights into the mechanisms at play during the different phases of learning and memory and the emergence of Hebbian plasticity in in vivo-like activity.
Project description:Layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells receive excitatory afferent input both from neighbouring pyramidal cells and from cortical and subcortical regions. The efficacy of these excitatory synaptic inputs is modulated by spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Here we report that synaptic connections between L2/3 pyramidal cell pairs are located proximal to the soma, at sites overlapping those of excitatory inputs from other cortical layers. Nevertheless, STDP at L2/3 pyramidal to pyramidal cell connections showed fundamental differences from known STDP rules at these neighbouring contacts. Coincident low-frequency pre- and postsynaptic activation evoked only LTD, independent of the order of the pre- and postsynaptic cell firing. This symmetric anti-Hebbian STDP switched to a typical Hebbian learning rule if a postsynaptic action potential train occurred prior to the presynaptic stimulation. Receptor dependence of LTD and LTP induction and their pre- or postsynaptic loci also differed from those at other L2/3 pyramidal cell excitatory inputs. Overall, we demonstrate a novel means to switch between STDP rules dependent on the history of postsynaptic activity. We also highlight differences in STDP at excitatory synapses onto L2/3 pyramidal cells which allow for input specific modulation of synaptic gain.
Project description:Astrocytes, via excitatory amino-acid transporter type-2 (EAAT2), are the major sink for released glutamate and contribute to set the strength and timing of synaptic inputs. The conditions required for the emergence of Hebbian plasticity from distributed neural activity remain elusive. Here, we investigate the role of EAAT2 in the expression of a major physiologically relevant form of Hebbian learning, spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We find that a transient blockade of EAAT2 disrupts the temporal contingency required for Hebbian synaptic plasticity. Indeed, STDP is replaced by aberrant non-timing-dependent plasticity occurring for uncorrelated events. Conversely, EAAT2 overexpression impairs the detection of correlated activity and precludes STDP expression. Our findings demonstrate that EAAT2 sets the appropriate glutamate dynamics for the optimal temporal contingency between pre- and postsynaptic activity required for STDP emergence, and highlight the role of astrocytes as gatekeepers for Hebbian synaptic plasticity.
Project description:Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), a form of Hebbian plasticity, is inherently stabilizing. Whether and how GABAergic inhibition influences STDP is not well understood. Using a model neuron driven by converging inputs modifiable by STDP, we determined that a sufficient level of inhibition was critical to ensure that temporal coherence (correlation among presynaptic spike times) of synaptic inputs, rather than initial strength or number of inputs within a pathway, controlled postsynaptic spike timing. Inhibition exerted this effect by preferentially reducing synaptic efficacy, the ability of inputs to evoke postsynaptic action potentials, of the less coherent inputs. In visual cortical slices, inhibition potently reduced synaptic efficacy at ages during but not before the critical period of ocular dominance (OD) plasticity. Whole-cell recordings revealed that the amplitude of unitary IPSCs from parvalbumin positive (Pv+) interneurons to pyramidal neurons increased during the critical period, while the synaptic decay time-constant decreased. In addition, intrinsic properties of Pv+ interneurons matured, resulting in an increase in instantaneous firing rate. Our results suggest that maturation of inhibition in visual cortex ensures that the temporally coherent inputs (e.g. those from the open eye during monocular deprivation) control postsynaptic spike times of binocular neurons, a prerequisite for Hebbian mechanisms to induce OD plasticity.
Project description:Behavioural experience, such as environmental enrichment (EE), induces long-term effects on learning and memory. Learning can be assessed with the Hebbian paradigm, such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP), which relies on the timing of neuronal activity on either side of the synapse. Although EE is known to control neuronal excitability and consequently spike timing, whether EE shapes STDP remains unknown. Here, using in vivo long-duration intracellular recordings at the corticostriatal synapses we show that EE promotes asymmetric anti-Hebbian STDP, i.e. spike-timing-dependent-potentiation (tLTP) for post-pre pairings and spike-timing-dependent-depression (tLTD) for pre-post pairings, whereas animals grown in standard housing show mainly tLTD and a high failure rate of plasticity. Indeed, in adult rats grown in standard conditions, we observed unidirectional plasticity (mainly symmetric anti-Hebbian tLTD) within a large temporal window (~200?ms). However, rats grown for two months in EE displayed a bidirectional STDP (tLTP and tLTD depending on spike timing) in a more restricted temporal window (~100?ms) with low failure rate of plasticity. We also found that the effects of EE on STDP characteristics are influenced by the anaesthesia status: the deeper the anaesthesia, the higher the absence of plasticity. These findings establish a central role for EE and the anaesthetic regime in shaping in vivo, a synaptic Hebbian learning rule such as STDP.
Project description:Synaptic efficacy changes, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), underlie various forms of learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity is generally assessed under prolonged activation, whereas learning can emerge from few or even a single trial. Here, we investigated the existence of rapid responsiveness of synaptic plasticity in response to a few number of spikes, in neocortex in a synaptic Hebbian learning rule, the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). We investigated the effect of lowering the number of pairings from 100 to 50, and 10 on STDP expression, using whole-cell recordings from pyramidal cells in rodent somatosensory cortical brain slices. We found that a low number of paired stimulations induces LTP at neocortical layer 4-2/3 synapses. Besides the asymmetric Hebbian STDP reported in the neocortex induced by 100 pairings, we observed a symmetric anti-Hebbian LTD for 50 pairings and unveiled a unidirectional Hebbian spike-timing-dependent LTP (tLTP) induced by 10-15 pairings. This tLTP was not mediated by NMDA receptor activation but requires CB<sub>1</sub> receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) activated by endocannabinoids (eCBs). eCBs have been widely described as mediating short- and long-term synaptic depression. Here, the eCB-tLTP reported at neocortical synapses could constitute a substrate operating in the online learning of new associative memories or during the initial stages of learning. In addition, these findings should provide useful insight into the mechanisms underlying eCB-plasticity occurring during marijuana intoxication.
Project description:Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) has been observed in many brain areas such as sensory cortices, where it is hypothesized to structure synaptic connections between neurons. Previous studies have demonstrated how STDP can capture spiking information at short timescales using specific input configurations, such as coincident spiking, spike patterns and oscillatory spike trains. However, the corresponding computation in the case of arbitrary input signals is still unclear. This paper provides an overarching picture of the algorithm inherent to STDP, tying together many previous results for commonly used models of pairwise STDP. For a single neuron with plastic excitatory synapses, we show how STDP performs a spectral analysis on the temporal cross-correlograms between its afferent spike trains. The postsynaptic responses and STDP learning window determine kernel functions that specify how the neuron "sees" the input correlations. We thus denote this unsupervised learning scheme as 'kernel spectral component analysis' (kSCA). In particular, the whole input correlation structure must be considered since all plastic synapses compete with each other. We find that kSCA is enhanced when weight-dependent STDP induces gradual synaptic competition. For a spiking neuron with a "linear" response and pairwise STDP alone, we find that kSCA resembles principal component analysis (PCA). However, plain STDP does not isolate correlation sources in general, e.g., when they are mixed among the input spike trains. In other words, it does not perform independent component analysis (ICA). Tuning the neuron to a single correlation source can be achieved when STDP is paired with a homeostatic mechanism that reinforces the competition between synaptic inputs. Our results suggest that neuronal networks equipped with STDP can process signals encoded in the transient spiking activity at the timescales of tens of milliseconds for usual STDP.
Project description:Plasticity at synapses between the cortex and striatum is considered critical for learning novel actions. However, investigations of spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) at these synapses have been performed largely in brain slice preparations, without consideration of physiological reinforcement signals. This has led to conflicting findings, and hampered the ability to relate neural plasticity to behavior. Using intracellular striatal recordings in intact rats, we show here that pairing presynaptic and postsynaptic activity induces robust Hebbian bidirectional plasticity, dependent on dopamine and adenosine signaling. Such plasticity, however, requires the arrival of a reward-conditioned sensory reinforcement signal within 2?s of the STDP pairing, thus revealing a timing-dependent eligibility trace on which reinforcement operates. These observations are validated with both computational modeling and behavioral testing. Our results indicate that Hebbian corticostriatal plasticity can be induced by classical reinforcement learning mechanisms, and might be central to the acquisition of novel actions.Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) has been studied extensively in slices but whether such pairings can induce plasticity in vivo is not known. Here the authors report an experimental paradigm that achieves bidirectional corticostriatal STDP in vivo through modulation by behaviourally relevant reinforcement signals, mediated by dopamine and adenosine signaling.
Project description:Synapses are plastic and can be modified by changes in spike timing. Whereas most studies of long-term synaptic plasticity focus on excitation, inhibitory plasticity may be critical for controlling information processing, memory storage, and overall excitability in neural circuits. Here we examine spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) of inhibitory synapses onto layer 5 neurons in slices of mouse auditory cortex, together with concomitant STDP of excitatory synapses. Pairing pre- and postsynaptic spikes potentiated inhibitory inputs irrespective of precise temporal order within ?10 ms. This was in contrast to excitatory inputs, which displayed an asymmetrical STDP time window. These combined synaptic modifications both required NMDA receptor activation and adjusted the excitatory-inhibitory ratio of events paired with postsynaptic spiking. Finally, subthreshold events became suprathreshold, and the time window between excitation and inhibition became more precise. These findings demonstrate that cortical inhibitory plasticity requires interactions with co-activated excitatory synapses to properly regulate excitatory-inhibitory balance.